About 4.6 million people live in the republic, which has its capital in Dublin. It occupies most of the island of Ireland, with the small remainder taken up by Northern Ireland, which the British own. Or occupy. Or whatever. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. Ireland gained its independence in 1922 and initially was known as the Irish Free State, becoming Ireland under the constitution of 1937. The official name of the state is Eire, but it is known as the Republic of Ireland in English. The British don't like that, because "Ireland" is the island, which includes Northern Ireland, but who fucking cares what the British think on this one?
Ireland is the homeland for a lot of U.S. immigrants, largely because the of Great Famine in the mid-1800s:
From the Act of Union on 1 January 1801 until 6 December 1922, the island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. During the Great Famine, from 1845 to 1849, the island's population of over 8 million fell by 30%. One million Irish died of starvation and/or disease and another 1.5 million emigrated, particularly to the United States. This set the pattern of emigration for the century to come, resulting in a constant population decline up to the 1960s.Ireland has a small, well-equipped military that is never going anywhere because it requires approval of the government, the legislature and the fucking United Nations to deploy. No biggie. Since their not going to be invaded, that's probably a good thing.
The country is really purdy and draws a lot of tourists:
The state extends over an area of about five-sixths (70,273 km2 or 27,133 sq mi) of the island of Ireland (84,421 km2 or 32,595 sq mi), with Northern Ireland constituting the remainder. The island is bounded to the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the northeast by the North Channel. To the east, the Irish Sea connects to the Atlantic Ocean via St George's Channel and the Celtic Sea to the southwest.Stuff like the Cliffs of Moher on the Atlantic coast keep people coming back for more:
The western landscape mostly consists of rugged cliffs, hills and mountains. The central lowlands are extensively covered with glacial deposits of clay and sand, as well as significant areas of bogland and several lakes. The highest point is Carrauntoohil (1,038 m or 3,406 ft), located in the Macgillycuddy's Reeks mountain range in the southwest. The River Shannon, which traverses the central lowlands, is the longest river in Ireland at 386 kilometres or 240 miles in length. The west coast is more rugged than the east, with numerous islands, peninsulas, headlands and bays.
Ireland has transformed from an agrarian economy to a high-tech one, and attracts foreign investment with a well-educated work force and low corporate taxes. Take note, Barry. Alas, they adopted the euro in 2002, so, currency-wise, they're fucked. Generally prosperous, the country has suffered some down times since 2008, and still has relatively high unemployment, although it is down from its peak.
So let's all extend a warm Eff You welcome to our visitors from Ireland. Come back soon, and bring your friends.